This body of work explores the transitionary periods of one's physical and mental health brought about by previous manipulation in the military. With an investigation of identity, we can observe what can potentially be lost or stunted due to the rigors of such intense mental abuse--there is a certain internal shift that occurs when a person is torn down and broken purposefully to conform to this narrative. With the use of abstract reference to military aircraft, I highlight phases one may go through both during and after active duty time. That is, a shifting of mentality and emotional response. It is common for military personnel to remain detached and restrict their ability to express emotions or feelings. However, just because an individual is broken (or was broken) does not mean that they cannot find a way to freely and comfortably express themselves. This work utilizes my personal experiences in the military, but also expands to others with similar struggles.
With the use of copper, pewter, and other materials, I create abstract forms that symbolize the disciplined and rigid nature of a military mindset, while simultaneously introducing elegant curves that reinforce a concept of liberation from restraint. Though a manipulative past can cause one to become emotionless and distant, with time and introspection, the ability to express and feel can begin to flourish as they once did prior to training.
Sarah Bouchard is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a B.A. in studio art and philosophy. Her career as an artist began rather late—having joined the military at 17, Sarah had to maneuver around trainings and deployment which put school on hold. Fortunately, this military background fuels most of her work. She began her military career as a young, easily molded individual, but realized that she was driven by nothing more than mental manipulation. This is what inspires Sarah to create works in metal that depict her personal experiences, as well as the collective experience of other military members. She is currently working on a body of work that depicts the transitionary experiences that many veterans and current military personnel face. Through her work, she intends to shed the hardened barriers developed from her own traumatic past and showcase the importance of introspection and understanding of oneself.
Bachelor of Arts; Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC
Coastal Carolina Outstanding Graduate, Conway, SC
Martha Baker Thomas Scholarship, Conway, SC
The Cube Galleries: Inaugural Exhibition, Conway, SC
Spring Visual Arts Exhibition: Best in Show, Conway, SC
The In Art Gallery 'Metals Exhibition'
East Carolina University Metalsmithing Symposium, Greenville, NC